My essentials: Rebecca Cremona’s cultural picks

No 17 | Rebecca Cremona, 38, filmmaker

Photo: Josef Bonnici
Photo: Josef Bonnici

1. Book

Yuval Harari’s Homo Sapiens theorises as to why, out of so many different human species, it was Homo Sapiens – that is, us – which prevailed. He argues that it’s because of our ability to invest in stories – religious, pagan, nation building, folk narratives etc – that we were able to coexist in larger numbers than other human species, and ultimately survived. I found this “brief history of humankind”, asserting that storytelling is intrinsic to our very survival, compelling.

2. Film 

These days I’m watching more TV than film, partially because of the pandemic and my preference to watch films in the cinema. Perhaps because I wasn’t able to travel as much as I usually do for work, I got sucked into Call My Agent which is a fun and insightful French series about the behind the scenes of being in the filmmaking business. A wonderful balance of drama and comedy, with great cameos - I’d definitely recommend it

3. Internet 

Locally I have been particularly struck by the immense value of the Facebook page ‘Women for Women’ which is a crucial resource and safe haven for women, sometimes in very dire situations, who unfortunately still don’t find adequate support from more formalised platforms in our society. Also on Facebook, the recent movement ĊelebrAZZJONI is bringing together a community of local audiovisual creatives in an unprecedented way at a time when imminent action is needed in the sector.

4. Music

I tend to listen to a cluster of singer-songwriters over and over again. My staples would be Joni Mitchell, Tim Buckley, Leonard Cohen… Tori Amos’s Cornflake Girl, Gianna Nannini’s Bello e Impossibile, Dolly Parton’s Jolene, Joan Baez’s Diamonds and Rust…I’m currently really enjoying Aurora’s new album, Tunisian folk duo Ÿuma and Brahms (especially his 3rd symphony). I think my subconscious priority in the past was lyrics, but now it’s shifting more to the non-verbal.

5. Place

I enjoy traveling immensely. Although there’s so much more for me to explore, I would love to return to Lisbon. I find its mix of Continental and Moorish influences to be both familiar and exotic. Its eclectic historical textures, mix of sea and hills, relative un-gentrification and greenery, make for a very special combination. I particularly love the way they respect and embrace their heritage, not only when preserving the past but most especially when forging forward.